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Difference Between A Plunge Router And Fixed Router

Working with wood is really cool because you can build whatever your imagination can create. That being said you definitely need to have the right tools to get the job done. One of the most commonly used tools when working with wood is the wood router.

A router is a great tool that is very often used in wood working, carpentry, cabinetry, and pretty much any other practice that involves building something with wood. Routers are most often used for creating specific edges, grooves, or bevels on edges of wood in order to let it slide into another section of wood, such as a shelf that slides into its spot in a cabinet. A wood router can also be used to cut out holes or patterns out of a surface of wood. Routers can also be used on other things than wood including vinyl, plastic, and sometimes even metal.

There are actually 2 different kinds of routers. One of these is the plunge router and the other is a fixed router. So what is the difference between the 2? Well first of all below you will see the clear difference; the one on the left is a fixed base router and the one on the right is a plunge router.

So What Is The Difference?

A fixed base router is what people usually tend to use and this may have something to do with the price. A fixed base router is often quite a bit cheaper than a plunge router. The fixed base router is usually considered to be the best tool for all jobs. We don’t mean that the fixed base router is better than a plunge router for all things, but a plunge router specializes in a few areas whereas as fixed base router is an all-around great router than can do a good job no matter what it is doing. The main difference between the two routers is that the plunge router allows the user to plunge the router downwards to make cuts at different depths on the go. With a plunge router to change the depth you are cutting at you just have to quickly adjust the plunge height. On the other hand if you want to change the depth of your cut with a fixed base router you need to either change the bit, change the level of the router table, or manually raise the router, but that of course risks making uneven cuts.

One of the things that fixed base routers actually excel in is edge shaping such as in classic cabinetry. They work quite a bit better than plunge routers for edge shaping because they are very versatile, maneuverable, and easy to control.

That is actually one of the advantages of plunge routers, that being that they are much more maneuverable in most circumstances that plunge routers. One of the drawbacks when it comes to a fixed base router is that for most things it really needs a router table to be used well. Without a router table the cuts you make may end up being quite uneven. Plunge routers do have some other advantages of fixed base routers due to their ability to move up and down on the go. Plunge routers work really well for things like sign making and engraving, to make templates or to do pattern work, and to do deep mortises, deep grooves, and stopped dadoes.

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